Welcome back to Takeover Tuesday, where each week, Billboard taps chart-topping artists and tastemakers to compile their very own playlist exclusive to Billboard‘s Spotify account. We give the artists free rein to base the list on whatever subject they choose. The only rule? Make it as creative and unique to them as possible.
For the past few weeks, Mt. Joy has been traveling around the country, playing arenas just about every night in February. The Philadelphia-born indie-rock group are opening for The Lumineers on their 2020 tour, an appropriate kickoff to a big year for Mt. Joy, as their sophomore album, Rearrange Us, arrives June 5.
While they’ve been on the road, the Mt. Joy members (frontman Matt Quinn, guitarist Sam Cooper, keyboardist Jackie Miclau, drummer Sotiris Eliopoulos and bassist Michael Brynes) have kept the jams bumping on their tour bus and in their dressing rooms. And though they make folky, guitar-driven music themselves, their Takeover Tuesday playlist reveals that Mt. Joy’s tastes are all over the board.
The band curated a playlist of the songs that have soundtracked their travels on this tour, featuring an array of artists from Joni Mitchell to Joey Bada$$. But the 13-song playlist also includes fellow alt-rock stars My Morning Jacket and The 1975, and of course, The Lumineers.
As for their own music, Mt. Joy just released the first two tracks from Rearrange Us, “Strangers” and “Let Loose,” on Feb. 19. They’ll play “Strangers” — the lead single from the set — on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Thursday (Feb. 27).
Each of the Mt. Joy members selected a few tunes for their Takeover Tuesday playlist, and everyone shared what makes their choices special. Check out the full playlist and the band’s comments below.
Adam Melchor, “Joyride”: “One of the best humans I’ve had the pleasure to meet along this journey. Adam is a singular talent and the timing of this song hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s a special tune. I feel lucky to work with him and call him a friend.”
Joni Mitchell, “All I Want”: “We’ve mostly been touring through cold climates with The Lumineers. Cold weather always brings me to Blue. My mom had the CD in her car my whole childhood. It’s a masterpiece I’ve never been able to let go of. The album opens with this track and when she sings in her crystal clear upper register ‘I want to make you feel free’ … she snaps me out of my head. I am so grateful for her music.”
The Lumineers, “Leader of the Landslide”: “I’ve had the pleasure of singing a Leonard Cohen cover [“Democracy“] with these guys every night on this tour. Right before I go on, I stand side stage and watch them perform this song. It puts a lump in my throat every night. Such a special song. We feel so lucky to be on the road with them.”
Grateful Dead, “Althea (Live at Nassau Coliseum 1980)”: “I grew up listening to and trying to emulates blues guitarists, but recently I’ve fully realized the brilliance of Jerry [Garcia]. This recording in particular shows how Jerry wasn’t just playing scales — he was singing through his guitar.”
My Morning Jacket, “Spring (Among the Living)”: “This is a song that I heard a few years ago and was blown away by the production: all of the little sounds, layers, voices, details. The different changes, everything. Lucky for us, the producer of this record Tucker Martine agreed to produce our new record and it was a dream come true.”
Khruangbin, “Lady and Man”: “Khruangbin utilizes space in their songs in such a beautiful way, and this song is no exception. They never rush through parts of the song and yet somehow the song never gets boring — it only gets better as it goes on.”
Madeon, “Dream Dream Dream”: “I’m a huge fan of electronic music and one of my favorite albums at the moment is Good Faith by Madeon. ‘Dream Dream Dream’ allows me to escape a little bit and get lost in my thoughts.”
The 1975, “Sincerity is Scary”: “This is a song that I bump while I’m getting ready for a show — or for anything, really. It just puts me in a good mood.”
Robert Sarazin Blake, “Ok, Ok, Ok,”: “He’s a phenomenal songwriter from Bellingham, Washington. On a van tour I was on about 5 years ago with another group we opened for him. He was friends with one of my bandmates, and we stayed at his house and he made us food and drinks and he gave us his home to shower and sleep (which we desperately needed). It was my first time in Bellingham and I fell in love with that place and his music. This song always reminds me of how special that moment was.”
Sly and the Family Stone, “In Time”: “It’s the perfect opening song to one of my favorite albums by them. The groove is incredible and puts me in a good mood immediately. Brings me back to the days when I was in a funk cover band trying to do this song justice at the lighthouse cafe in Hermosa Beach. Good times.”
Joey Bada$$, “Hardknock”: “My brother is a huge hip-hop fan and is always giving me music to check out. He showed me the album 1999 by Joey Bada$$, and I got hooked. The song ‘Hardknock’ has a great flow and the beat is hypnotic and the haunting backing vocals make the song unfold beautifully.”
Beck, “E-Pro”: “I am always on the search for songs where the main guts of the song is a solid riff, and no song does it better than ‘E-Pro.’ I sing that guitar part throughout my day after listening.”
Ratboys, “Alien With a Sleep Mask On”: “I love the playfulness of this recording. I also relate heavily to the lyrics being about an alien who is inside their head a lot as they travel through the galaxy.”